Saturday, January 1, 2011

It's TIME to Shelter

Ordinary people think merely of spending time. Great people think of using it.

When someone mentions time, everyone within hearing distance usually reaches for their watch or glances at a clock.  For me, when time is mentioned, I think of my Papa; in my mind's photo album, I can still see him standing tall, stately, and handsome...

Papa, my mother's father, had TB and was in a sanatorium five times.  Papa was able to get a 24-hour release to walk my mother down the aisle.  And then, the miracle drug, Streptomycin, was released.  Expected to die, my Papa's TB became inactive, and a sense of normalcy resumed. 

After that, Papa went to watchmakers
school.  He worked in a jewelery store and I loved stopping in to see him when we went to town on Friday nights.  He also kept a drawer full of old clocks and clock parts in his work desk at home that we could play with.  Papa lived to the age of 80, thanks to Waksman and his laboratory discovery of Streptomycin.  So while working on instruments measuring time, God gave Papa more time with us.

For me, time is hard to give to others.  For years I did just fine, loving all the occasions I could share time with others: funeral dinners, hospital visiting, child-sitting, children church teaching -- so many activities I gladly involved myself in. 

However, as I age, I find myself being selfish with my time.  I want to use all my "feel-good" moments for things I want to do.  These usually involve my family and my writing.  I hate to admit this, but I determined from the beginning of this blog that I would be authentic in my writing, showing the ugly with the beautiful.  So I am confessing my selfishness.

Perhaps in my younger days I stayed busy because I was more concerned about "what others think of us" instead of doing what would be more lasting in God's kingdom.  I wanted to please everyone, so instead of seeking God's will for my time, I would say "yes" to anything asked of me.  My responsiveness was well-intended, but one thing I have learned is to ask God's permission first before uttering that yes.  I find out that more and more often God gives permission through my talents.  He created me with talents, and He wishes to love and care for others through them.

God has also been speaking to me more about "time unnoticed."  I am determined in 2011 to take more time for God's Word and prayer, to take more time attentively listening to family and friends, and closing my computer to send cards, encourage and bless the lonely of the church.  I'm not sure all God has planned for my time, but I am willing to follow obediently as He speaks.   Paul tells us,  Be very careful how you live—not as unwise but as wise, taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  For this reason do not be foolish, but be wise by understanding what the Lord’s will is (Ephesians 5:15-17). 

So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the family of faith (Galatians 5:10).  That's looking at time with a Biblical worldview.  I plan to read these two books:  Hurt Healer: Reaching Out to a Broken World by Tony Nolan and The Dangerous Art of Loving Your Neighbor: Seeing Others through the Eyes of Jesus by Mark Labberton.  I believe when we see clearly the pain of others we will be compelled to give our time to their healing.  There didn't seem to be many books on giving our time to God.  I found many time management books, but it isn't management I need, it's a willingness to manage my moments for God. I would love to hear of books you feel would be a help on this journey of gifted time.
So when "the chimes of time ring out the news another day is through" I want to know I have given God the minutes of my day to be used for His glory.


Rebecca said...

I appreciate your honesty. I believe you have sort of hit on your own solution when you said it's not about time management -- "it's a willingness to manage my moments for God." This realization is a gift of God as will it be His work within you to make you WILLING!

For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. (Phil. 2:13)

May that be true in 2011 for both you AND me!

Kari said...

Thanks for your sweets comments on my blog. God is working on me to find a fresh love for His Word so finding help in His Word was an added bonus. The only book I could recommend would be the Word. It seems to have the answer to all life's questions. :)

Lisa notes... said...

Oh, this hits home with me. I struggle with how I use my time. Even when I use it for others, I have a hard time not wishing I was at home doing something for "me." Thanks for being so honest here and sharing the books you'll be reading. They sound beneficial.

Devoted said...

"It's not about time management -- "it's a willingness to manage my moments for God."

love, Love, LOVE this post and the above most. I am posting it on my refrigerator as a daily reminder!

Kim M. said...

Great post, Pam. I can relate with you!

~ linda said...

I feel so blessed that you came by my blog (Being Woven) earlier today. Not only did your words to me leave me with feelings of encouragement, but your words here on your blog lift me as well. You write beautifully and this post gives me food for thought too, Pamela. Both of us truly do seem to be on similar pages for 2011, at least in some areas!
May your day be filled with a bounty of blessings,

Janine said...

Hi Pamela,
Thank you for such a wonderfully honest post. My heart identifies with so much of what you shared!!

Susan said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment so I knew you did and could follow you here to yours. Great post. In 2005, while we were traveling about the U.S. & Canada in our R.V., God spoke loud & clear to my husband and me that we were to return home and "redeem the time." We did and have been very concious of doing just that. Since I just celebrated by 73rd birthday and my husband his 78th we know how precious every single minute is and want God to help us use them as HE wants and see's fit.

Deborah said...

"I am determined in 2011 to take more time for God's Word and prayer, to take more time attentively listening to family and friends,"
Amen! This is my prayer too!

A Homemaker's Heart said...

Thank you for adding my husband and I to your prayer list. We greatly appreciate it and know that the Lord will provide :)

Crown of Beauty said...

As an agent of redemption I feel this post of yours is so timely.

Time is one wasted commodity yet so few seem unable to change the habitual ways that time is allowed to just pass.

Thank you for your visit to my blog and the comment you left. It has opened a connection between us.


Mindy said...

I nominated you for a Stylish Blogger Award! Pop over to my blog to accept and pass it along! =D

LDH said...

Dear Pamela,

Wonderful post and one that gives thought to how we spend our time. I appreciated the words you shared.

Kindly, Lorraine

Lori said...

I really enjoyed this post. Thank you for the encouragement.

Brenda said...

I was struck by the words, "time unnoticed." It caused me to think . . . Sometimes, when my hubby leaves for a couple of days on a business trip, I feel a sense of freedom . . . getting to plan all of my own time--a completely selfish thought--as if my time is unnoticed by anyone. Not true, of course, our time is never unnoticed. God knows what we do with our days.

Cindy Adkins said...

Time is certainly something that has been important in my life...time goes so slowly when you miss someone...and it is definitely something that people take for granted when they can truly enjoy others...

Wishing you wonderful times in 2011!!! Happy New Year!

Cindy Garber Iverson said...


Thank you for coming by Rosehaven Cottage so I could come over and "meet" you and discover your lovely writing. I deeply appreciate what you've written in this post. Much of it resonated within me. I particularly appreciate your words, "...but one thing I have learned is to ask God's permission first before uttering that yes." You put words to something that's been swimming around in my heart for the past year. Thank you.

Happy New Year,
Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Jennifer Truitt said...

I have enjoyed following your blog! My daughter Lauren, is friends with your daughter Emily. Thanks for the challenge in your post! Time seems to fly faster and faster as the days go by!! I'm glad to be reminded to stop and take a look at what's really important in my life!

Sally said...

It was a joy to see your comment. Thank you for not only stopping by, but for letting me know you were there! You have a lot here for me to explore. I like your thoughtful writing.

Mrs.T said...

Thank you for this post. I too have faced the fact that as I grow older I seem to be growing more selfish. I still do a lot -- teach Sunday School, clean the church, help out aging parents and wherever else I can -- but I am definitely more selfish with my free time than I used to be. I have identified that as something that I need to work on in my life this year. Thank you for the encouragement here and also for stopping by at my blog.

Shore Girl said...

Really enjoyed this post - I find it a lot easier to take time for others when it's something seen...and you know others will respond with gratitude. It's those small, behind the scenes, no one will notice or even know moments that tempt me to leave them undone....."time unnoticed"
Appreciate your willingness to "be human" (i.e. admit that you aren't perfect, are tempted with selfishness, are still a work in progress). I find encouragement in the fact that others face the same things I do.

Making Memories 1999 said...

I really appreciated this post on time! Thank you so much for your insight.